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K-pop and kimchi: Tokyo's 'Little Seoul' shrugs off spat

37 Comments
By Karyn Nishimura

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Just had some Korean bbq there recently. Neat place.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I hate that district which is a shame as some great restaurants, especially the Korean fried chicken, but it's clear the streets were not prepared for such traffic. Very narrow sidewalks that are always crowded by slow-moving people window shopping, it's always very frustrating when I need to go there. They really need to do something about that and widen the sidewalks or something.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Through a series of Korea's stalking behavior, nitpicking and bullying, "Korea fatigue" or exhaustion is rising and predominant sentiment in the Japanese public. Any "push" or excessive promotions for K-culture will face severe backlash.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

I'm of the opinion that Koreans in Korea are much more heated about this spat because it's their government whipping things up to hide their own failings. They knew their GDP figures would be bad so want to deflect the anger and attention onto Japan.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Government invented outrage and spat.  Real people are indifferent (largely).

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I'm glad these people are enjoying their lives here, and glad Japanese are still enjoying K-pop more than J-pop, Korean dramas, and most importantly, mingling and eating Korean food. Let the idiots in power squabble to make themselves look more powerful. Let us relax and exchange culture.

-13 ( +8 / -21 )

God bless the Japanese. Always reluctant to get into fights and show negative emotions (at least publicly). No wonder it's such a peaceful country, one that I love.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

I was in Shin-Okubo about 2 hours ago. Just as crowded as ever (that means, too crowded). Young people don't really care about the conflcts between governments, if they actually know about it at all.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

So much for all them people who think "Japanese dislike Koreans". Quite the opposite. These Korean Residents are treated very well and respected, hence the thriving Shin-Okubo district. It is a credit to Japan and the tolerance of Japanese.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

“So much for all them people who think "Japanese dislike Koreans". Quite the opposite. These Korean Residents are treated very well and respected”

Are they?

Because from where I come from people with parents from a foreign country but born and raised there can be both and obtain two nationalities with the right of vote etc.

Now the zainichi not only can’t have the privilege of the full rights of like the locals even if they were born and raised in Japan and they know only the Japanese language but in some cases they even have to change or hide their real names to don’t be discriminated.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Madden:

Think the narrow streets give it a certain ambience and neighbourhood feel that American or even European width streets would destroy. Not to mention the work and destruction involved in trying to widen it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I'm of the opinion that Koreans in Korea are much more heated about this spat because it's their government whipping things up to hide their own failings. They knew their GDP figures would be bad so want to deflect the anger and attention onto Japan.

@Kniknak - Such a tired cliche. You ignore the fact the latest spat was kicked off by Japan choosing curb exports of raw high tech material to SK, in response to a court decision in SK, nothing whatsoever to do with any government or politician.

What do you make of the timing of the decision, right before the election? Do you not think it was politically motivated to gain support for Shinzo-kun so he can have his super majority (which he failed to get)?

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

Some friends took me there one night and it was great! The food was fantastic!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm glad these people are enjoying their lives here, and glad Japanese are still enjoying K-pop more than J-pop,

So for you loving Japanese songs is something wrong?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

It’s always pleasant to hear ‘cousins’ enjoying each others’ company

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

HeckleberryToday  06:45 pm JST

Such a tired cliche. You ignore the fact the latest spat was kicked off by Japan choosing curb exports of raw high tech material to SK, in response to a court decision in SK, nothing whatsoever to do with any government or politician.

I think your story needs a prelude -

It goes something like this ..

Korea and Japan sign Final and Irreversible agreement.

Japan pays money (again) and prime minister apologizes for Japanese wartime aggression.

Moon comes to power, scraps the Final and Irreversible agreement.

Now you start your movie ...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Don’t much care for Kimchi or K-Pop but I am glad to hear the people that frequent Shin-Okubo have a mature outlook over the recent diplomatic troubles. It’s best not to overreact given the countries now have way more in common than what separates them.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japanese people have grown up to be one of the first class global citizen since Meiji period.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Korean Owner talked only about how young Japanese people really like the Korean culture. He didn't say anything about Koreans boycotting the Japanese product is wrongdoing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I just visited Korea for business and there is nothing approaching the furor reported by the media. I did not see a single protest or “NO Japan” signs. I saw some “YES Korea” signs on lamp posts which seemed to say something about buying Korean goods but I do not speak Korean.

I talked to business partners and they said there is no real anger amongst most people. They said store traffic at Uniqlo is way down but it has been offset by Korean shoppers buying online.

In a metro area of 20 million like Seoul, you can always find a couple hundred extremists for a photo op. Koreans don’t like Abe but they like Japanese people just fine. Don’t believe the hype.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Didn't Mr. Moon start this fight by expelling some Japanese business from his country? Then incited the citizens to rally against all things Japanese? Japan has been quite mature about this. SK should start living in the real world, and try to calm things down in Asia. Especially now with an undependable, unpredictable American President who wants to befriend Kim of NK. Shunning Japan now will get SK nowhere in this assault on the past.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The South Korean community in Shin Okubo are very decent and law-abiding citizens and set a good example for other foreign communities in Tokyo.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I just visited Korea for business and there is nothing approaching the furor reported by the media. I did not see a single protest or “NO Japan” signs. I saw some “YES Korea” signs on lamp posts which seemed to say something about buying Korean goods but I do not speak Korean.

I talked to business partners and they said there is no real anger amongst most people. They said store traffic at Uniqlo is way down but it has been offset by Korean shoppers buying online.

In a metro area of 20 million like Seoul, you can always find a couple hundred extremists for a photo op. Koreans don’t like Abe but they like Japanese people just fine. Don’t believe the hype.

@Nihon - you mean to say there weren't any mobs of angry Koreans with pitchforks trying to round up anyone who might be Japanese? You didn't run into groups of hateful protestors at every corner?

Seeing SK through the eyes of Japanese media, you'd be forgiven for thinking the average Korean cared about Japan anymore than the average Japanese cared about Korea.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Moons colossal ineptitude as a leader in ripping up the 2015 agreement, putting nothing else in place, has led to this complete and utter mess.

What an entirely pathetic and useless leader.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Moons colossal ineptitude as a leader in ripping up the 2015 agreement, putting nothing else in place, has led to this complete and utter mess.

@Strangerland - I must have missed the news. Could you please link an article saying the deal was scrapped?

Oh wait, that never happened.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Think the narrow streets give it a certain ambience and neighbourhood feel that American or even European width streets would destroy

"Narrow"? Have you been there? See the photo. Okubo Dori and Shokuan Dori, around which "little Korea" is centered, are both wide roads with lots of vehicle traffic. European or even American areas with such heavy pedestrian traffic are usually converted into pedestrian-only malls. The place is best avoided on weekends if you're a pedestrian.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Snickers - Should we file that under 'things that never happened'? When did Moon scrap the agreement? The agreement still stands.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201810310062.html

The deal is dead. You can tiptoe around the wording if you like, but Moon basically killed the agreement when he dissolved the fund and rejected Mr. Abe's apology.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Strangerland - I must have missed the news. Could you please link an article saying the deal was scrapped?

That agreement Moon gutted then refused to sign.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2018/11/23/editorials/seoul-guts-comfort-women-agreement/#.XW7jW5aaqEc

4 ( +6 / -2 )

HeckleberryToday  06:46 am JST

Moons colossal ineptitude as a leader in ripping up the 2015 agreement, putting nothing else in place, has led to this complete and utter mess.

@Strangerland - I must have missed the news. Could you please link an article saying the deal was scrapped?

Oh wait, that never happened.

Here there is one more. with fund dissolved already and this, there is nothing left in the agreement which SK

implements. It is just that Moon is coward enough not to officially declare scrapping it despite he had said

it would neither scrap nor renegotiate. What a loser.

https://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXMZO48548580U9A810C1910M00/

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Heckleberry, that’s right. No angry mobs. Nobody seemed to care much about this issue at all. In a week in downtown Seoul, there was not a single protest or demonstration that I saw. Plus, there were tons of Japanese and Chinese tourists who also didn’t seem concerned. The Koreans I met were more worried about whether I was seeing signs of a recession in America and what the global business sentiment is. The media reporting on this Japan Korea trade war and the crazy commenters here have blown this way out of proportion to reality.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That agreement Moon gutted then refused to sign.

@Strangerland - so which is it, it was never signed, or signed then scrapped? Can't have it both ways.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So much for all them people who think "Japanese dislike Koreans". Quite the opposite. These Korean Residents are treated very well and respected

Wow this comment didn't age well in light of the other news today..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Heckleberry, that’s right. No angry mobs. Nobody seemed to care much about this issue at all. In a week in downtown Seoul, there was not a single protest or demonstration that I saw.

@Nihon - thank you. That account may surprise many whose view of SK is formed through news reports.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Strangerland - so which is it, it was never signed, or signed then scrapped? Can't have it both ways.

It was scrapped by Moon refusing to sign it. Duh. There is no signed agreement, because Moon torpedoed it, then spent the past three years riling up his people against the Japanese, while not proposing anything to replace the deal he has ripped up.

Complete and utter incompetence. Trump level incompetence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One country has a national conscription policy, which reenforces a national identity shaped and formed from a militaristic philosophy that views different nations on their level of threat and one doesn't. Which group do you think is going to engage the other negatively over a historical spat current generations have little connection to outside of pictures and the occasional passed down story.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I despise what Sk government under Moon and crazed activists have been doing to Japan lately but I still communicate the same/friendly with Korean friends as always I have been and I purchase at Korean goods at Korean markets. I do not boycott or hate Koreans just because SK does so. I wasn't raised to hate Koreans. You may think that Japan hasn't done enough to teach the past but, the bright side is, Japanese never carried the hatred. Of course, there are some people who are discriminatory but most of us are not. Schools never taught us to hate. Government never propagated the hatred. It sucks to live with such strong hate toward others for decades and centuries. It really shows the bad leadership.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As a continental born African now an American, who has lived in and studied in S.Korea, the PRC, and Japan, I've always found the Japanese to be the most enlightened, cultured and open-minded of the "big three" East Asian countries. Keep it up, Japan!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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